Travellers looking to book their Hajj pilgrimage this year are being warned against deals that seem too good to be true. The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s campaign is working to protect travellers after an increasing trend in the sale of illegal or fake package deals. In the worst cases, these illegal vendors have been prosecuted and imprisoned.
With over 25,000 British Muslims expected to make the Hajj pilgrimage this August, the Civil Aviation Authority is launching a campaign to ensure that this often once in a lifetime trip is not scuppered by booking through a disreputable company, or those falsely posing as reputable travel agents.
By researching, using a trustworthy and reputable company that will provide you with ATOL protection, consumers can travel with peace of mind.
Paul Smith, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“As we enter the busy booking period for Hajj travel, we are reminding consumers to research who they are planning to book with to ensure their important trip is protected.
“Using a recommended travel agent is helpful, but it is vital to check that your provider is ATOL protected despite any recommendation you may receive.”
Always follow our top five Hajj travel tips:
- Check for ATOL protection: Look for the ATOL logo on your travel company’s website, brochure or shop front.
- Research your trip: Some companies will incorrectly claim to have ATOL protection. Check the company’s name on the online database at: packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
- Check if your package includes a visa: Appoint a licensed travel agent and ensure that they are arranging a visa as part of your arrangements.
- Watch out for hidden costs: Make sure you check the airport and accommodation fees, such as baggage allowance and accommodation transfers, to avoid any surprises.
- Check financial protection if booking with non-UK travel companies: There are some non-UK travel companies which offer Hajj travel to UK consumers, but these will often not be ATOL protected. Do your research and check what financial protection they provide.
Visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk for more information about ATOL protection.
This post is based on a press release issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
Photo: The Kaaba at the start of Hajj in Mecca, by Al Jazeera English via Creative Commons